New to You housing proposal approved by Centre Wellington council

ELORA – On March 27 Centre Wellington council approved a proposal to build a new New to You retail store and a stacked townhouse development behind the store.

The proposal was presented to council before the municipal election and there has been a public meeting on the matter.

But the proposal was new to the new council and Caroline Baker, of the Baker Planning Group, gave a short presentation before council began discussion.

The Groves Hospital Volunteer Association is proposing to build a new store on the property at 950-960 St. David St. N. in Fergus, with improved  loading and shipping areas, greater floor space, and more customer parking.

Behind the store, at 960 St. David S. N., will be 112 stacked townhouses.

They will be two-bedroom units with 24 units per building. The buildings will be  three and a half storeys high with central amenities.

There will be 1.2 parking spaces per dwelling to allow for some visitor parking.

There will be 53 parking spaces at the New to You store, which could provide overflow parking for residents when the store is closed.

Baker noted some comments from the public meeting, namely traffic, parking and offering accessible units.

As St. David Street North is also Highway 6, the Ministry of Transportation also weighed in on the proposal, calling for 15-metre setbacks from the road.

A traffic impact study dictated that a left turn lane should be added in the south-bound lane. This should ease traffic flow and address the dangers local residents had brought up at the public meeting, officials say.

The developer will construct a sidewalk along Highway 6 that will connect with township sidewalks at Gordon Street.

Baker said the units – about 900 square feet in size – should sell for $650,000.

Brett Salmon, township managing director of planning and development, recommended approving the application.

“We need all types of housing at all price points,” he said. “There’s a chance this will meet the attainable housing definition.”

Councillor Bronwynne Wilton made a friendly amendment to the motion to approve the development, seeking more ground level, indoor bike storage. 

Salmon said bike storage is usually a voluntary feature by the developer – “We can’t legally require it.”

Mayor Shawn Watters and councillor Lisa MacDonald voted against Wilton’s amendment but with support from the other councillors it passed.

The main motion, to approve the proposed development, passed unanimously.